Regular floss, floss picks, powered air or water flossers, flavored floss – Whatever it is that you prefer to use, just use it! Flossing is one of the easiest ways to maintain, not just oral health, but overall health too.
How Often Should I Floss?
Brushing your teeth thoroughly cleans the top and side surfaces of your teeth but brushing alone can’t clean the tight spaces between your teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush twice a day and floss ONCE a day. Some prefer to floss in the morning, some prefer right after lunch, and some like to do it right before bed. Whatever your preference may be, once a day is key!
What Happens When I Don’t Floss?
According to a 2019 survey conducted by the ADA, only 4 out of 10 Americans floss at least once a day. The 6 out of 10 of those who don’t will see a buildup of harmful bacteria between their teeth. Over time, that extra bacteria build up between your teeth can leave a lasting negative impact on your overall health.
Those who do not floss regularly are at a higher risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease. It only takes one week without flossing for gingivitis (early periodontal disease) to appear. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report revealed that 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease, and 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease. In severe cases (referred to as periodontitis) the gums can pull away from the teeth, bone can be lost, and teeth may even fall out!
Periodontal disease is one of the biggest threats to your overall health. Recent studies by the American College of Cardiology show a direct link between periodontal disease and artery inflammation. According to a 2016 study published in the BMJ Postgraduate Medical Journal, oral bacteria can contribute to a person’s risk of atherosclerosis, or hardening and narrowing of the arteries, which can significantly increase the likelihood of heart disease.
So, if you floss regularly, keep it up! If you don’t, start today! And if you think you may be at risk for periodontal disease, book an appointment! At ProHEALTH Dental we have specially trained in-house periodontists who work hand-in-hand with your general dentist to ensure all of your oral health needs are covered.